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How Far Should I Plant Trees From My House?

It can be tricky figuring out how close (or far!) you should be planting a tree from your house. A few different factors go into determining where you should plant your specific type of tree.


Different Trees, Different Distance

One of the reasons to avoid planting trees to close to your house is the amount of leaves that can be dropped. The closer a tree is to your house, the more likely your gutter might get clogged up with autumn leaves. Although this may not be a problem for evergreen trees, occasionally needles will fall, and that is best done farther from the eavestroughs. Fruit trees may attract birds or bees, depending on the type of fruit. Fruit trees are best planted farther away to avoid unwanted wildlife close to the house.



Roots, Roots, and more Roots

The roots on trees is the biggest determining factor in where you should plant your tree. Trees root systems grow far and wide to give the tree its best chance of thriving. Unfortunately for us, this means that there is a chance the root system could damage your house foundation if planted too close. It's a common mistake to assume that the root system of a tree ends where the leaves of a tree end. In fact, some trees have roots that extend to 3 times the size of the spread of the top of the tree. Did you know that the largest tree root system in the world is over 105 acres?? Known as 'Pando', in Utah there are multiple quaking aspen trees that share one large root system that is thought to be thousands of years old!


Type of Tree vs. Distance from House

Here is a list of the general distances that you should plant your tree


EVERGREEN TREES

Blue Spruces - About 30 feet (9 meters)

Norway Spruces - About 50 feet (15 meters)

White Pines - About 50 feet (15 meters)

White Cedars - About 20 feet (6 meters)


SHADE TREES

All Maple Trees (EXCEPT SILVER MAPLES) - About 30 feet (9 meters)

All Oak Trees - About 30 feet (9 meters)

Gingko Tree - About 30 feet (9 meters)

Flowering Almond Cherry Tree - About 10 feet (3 meters)

Purpleleaf Sandcherry Tree - About 10 feet (3 meters)

Dwarf Korean Lilac Tree - About 10 feet (3 meters)


Fruit Trees

All Apple Trees - About 15 feet (4.5 meters)

All Pear Trees - About 15 feet (4.5 meters)

All Cherry Trees - About 20 feet (6 meters)

All Peach Trees - About 15 feet (4.5 meters)


Special Exceptions:

Poplar and Aspen Trees: These tree roots can get up to 4 times the size of the spread. These should be planted about 75 - 100 feet (23 - 30 meters) from your home.

Willow Trees: Weeping willows have one of the shallowest and longest roots of all trees. These should be planted about 75 - 100 feet (23- 30 meters) from your home.

Silver Maple Trees: These maples have the longest roots of all the maple trees. These should be planted about 50 feet (15 meters) from your home.


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